National Curriculum Statutory Assessment
In all national curriculum subjects, the criteria for assessing progress are set out in descriptions of performance at eight levels. These national standards allow teachers, learners and their parents to see how well they are doing in relation to their prior attainment and to expectations for learners of their age. The descriptions have been written so that the majority of pupils are expected to work at: •
levels 1-3 in key stage 1 and attain level 2 at the end of the key stage •
levels 2-5 in key stage 2 and attain level 4 at the end of the key stage •
levels 3-7 in key stage 3 and attain level 5/6 at the end of the key stage. Attainment targets consist of eight level descriptions of increasing difficulty, plus a description for exceptional performance above level 8. Each level description describes the types and range of performance that pupils working at that level should characteristically demonstrate. The level descriptions provide the basis for making judgments about pupils' performance at the end of key stages 1, 2 and 3. At key stage 4, national qualifications are the main means of assessing attainment in National Curriculum subjects. In deciding on a pupil's level of attainment at the end of a key stage, teachers should judge which description best fits the pupil's performance. Teachers need to assess and build up a picture of a pupil's performance over time and in a range of contexts. The Government has established national targets for the proportion of 11-year-olds achieving level 4 in English and mathematics at the end of key stage 2. Schools are required to set targets for the proportions of their pupils reaching these targets. Optional tests in English and mathematics are available to assist schools in monitoring pupils' progress towards these targets. For some aspects of statutory assessment, levels have been subdivided so that it is possible to differentiate between the attainment of pupils. Prior to...
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